Lean Six Sigma is a continuous improvement methodology that focuses on the elimination of waste and reduction of variation from manufacturing, service and design processes.  The Lean methodology aims at reducing non-value activities and cycle times while creating value for customers. Six Sigma identifies and reduces variability, improving overall quality. LSS can reduce your costs and help you retain and even gain more customers.
LSS prescribes an improvement process known as DMAIC (Define—Measure—Analyze—Improve—Control).  However, its application is limited to improving existing processes. It doesn’t address the design of new products, services, or processes.

For developing a new product, service or process, there’s a modified version called DFSS (Design for Six Sigma). The process most often used in DFSS is called DMADV (Define—Measure—Analyze—Design—Verify).

DMAIC (Define—Measure—Analyze—Improve—Control)

DMAIC is the more well-known and most-used LSS project method. DMAIC focuses on improving an existing process by incorporating the following phases:

Phase Description
Define Define the problem, output to be improved, customers, and process associated with the problem.
Measure Collect data from the process to establish a baseline for the improvements.
Analyze Analyze the data to find the root causes of defects.
Improve Develop, test, and implement solutions to improve the process.
Control Implement process controls to sustain the improvements.

DMADV (Define—Measure—Analyze—Design—Verify)

DMADV is focused on the process of designing a new product, service or process, incorporating the following phases:

Phase Description
Define Define the process and design goals.
Measure Measure and identify critical-to-quality characteristics of the product, service or process. This includes risk and production capabilities.
Analyze Analyze the data to find the best design.
Design Design and test the product, service or process.
Verify Ensure that the design output meets the design input requirements (verification) and that the designed product performs satisfactorily under real or simulated conditions of intended use (validation).

DMADVO is a lesser known DFSS method. The difference between DMADV and DMADVO is that “O” or “Optimize” has been added. Thus, DMADVO prioritizes the need for the organization to optimize the design after implementation.

Similarities of DMAIC and DMADV


  • Use structured methods to reduce variation and solve problems
  • Collect and analyze data to make informed decisions
  • Use teams to solve problems
  • Have a customer focus
  • Use many of the same tools (brainstorming, FMEA, DOE)

Differences of DMAIC and DMADV

  • DMAIC addresses the current process; DMADV addresses the design process.
  • DMAIC reduces/eliminates defects (reactive); DMADV prevents defects (proactive).
  • DMAIC includes specific solutions; DMADV is part of the solution design process.
  • DMAIC includes controls to sustain the gains; DMADV includes verification and validation of the finished design.

DMAIC and DMADV provide a structured process for improvement. When applied properly with the applicable improvement tools, they can help ensure the success of your LSS projects, which can reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction.

About Purdue’s Online Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Certificate Program

Purdue University offers comprehensive online Lean Six Sigma (LSS) certificate programs designed for working professionals with varying levels of Lean Six Sigma experience. The online Lean Six Sigma certificate courses prepare professionals to satisfy the immense demand for Lean expertise, skills and certification.

Purdue offers the following courses 100% online:

Get Started Now


To learn more about Purdue University’s online Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification program and , fill out this form. You can also email us at LSSonline@purdue.edu or call us at (888) 390-0499 to speak to one of our program advisors.

Purdue University has engaged AllCampus to help support your educational journey. AllCampus will contact you shortly in response to your request for information. About AllCampus. Privacy Policy. You may opt out of receiving communications at any time.

* All Fields are Required. Your Privacy is Protected. Are you enrolling from outside the US? Click here.